Salvage of the radial head in chronic adult Monteggia fractures: REPORT OF FOUR CASES

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Four men who presented with chronic dislocation of the radial head and nonunion or malunion of the ulna were reviewed after open reduction of the radial head and internal fixation of the ulna in attempted overcorrection. Their mean age was 37 years (28 to 46) and the mean interval between injury and reconstruction was nine months (4 to 18).

The mean follow-up was 24 months (15 to 36). One patient who had undergone secondary excision of the radial head was also followed up for comparison.

The three patients who had followed the treatment protocol had nearly normal flexion, extension and supination and only very occasional pain. All had considerable loss of pronation which did not affect patient satisfaction.

Preservation of the radial head in chronic adult Monteggia fractures appears to be a promising mode of treatment.

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